Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Allium atropurpureum

Botanical Name : Allium atropurpureum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. atropurpureum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common NamesOrnamental Onion

Habitat : Allium atropurpureum is native to E. Asia – N. India.(Hungary, the Balkans, and Turkey.). It grows on the shaded humus rich soils along rocky cliffs, 1900 metres to 2200 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:
Allium atropurpureum is a bulb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).It grows in clumps or bold drifts, for the most dramatic displays, and leave the seedheads standing throughout autumn and winter to add structural interest to the garden. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

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Allium atropurpureum is a fun drumstick allium, bearing a tightly packed ball of maroon-purple flowers on top of a tall, stout stem. It’s native to the Balkans, where it can be found growing in dry, open spaces.

Cultivation:
Allium atropurpureum prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant[190]. Judging by its habit, this plant should also tolerate some shade. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of the country, it should tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are 15 – 30mm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: It is widely grown as an ornamental for its rich, deep purple flowers. Allium atropurpureum makes an excellent cut flower. The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_atropurpureum#cite_note-mildred-1
http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/allium-atropurpureum/214.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+atropurpureum

Gentiana pannonica

Botanical Name: Gentiana pannonica
FamilY: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: Gentiana pannonica

Synonym(s):
*Coilantha pannonica G.Don
*Gentiana semifida Hoffmanns. ex Rchb.

Common Name : Hungarian Gentian

Habitat : Gentiana pannonica is native to central Europe. It grows on meadows and pastures, screes and grassy bottoms of alpine corries, amongst dwarf pine and in forests. It is found on both limestone and acid rocks.

The centre of its distribution is in the Eastern Alps in Austria, Germany and Slovenia; it also occurs sporadically in the southern and central Alps (Italy and Switzerland) at elevations over 1,000 metres. In Germany it is found in two small, distinct areas: on the southern border with Austria in the Alps, and a smaller area on the eastern border with the Czech Republic (Bundesamt für Naturschutz 2012). In Italy it is known from one locality, and in Slovenia it is found in several localities. Outside the Alps, it is scattered in the Bohemian Forest in the border region of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria (though most localities are situated in the Czech part of the mountains), and is rare in the Giant Mountains and the Jesen?ky Mountains (Hofhanzlová and K?enová 2007, Ekrtová and Košnar 2012). The latter two occurrences are sometimes considered to be remnants of former cultivations and thus introduced, but it may indeed be native to the Giant Mountains (Ekrtová and Košnar 2012).

Description:
Gentiana pannonica is a perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species is not particular about soil type, so long as it is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. Although sometimes found wild on alkaline soils, it prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil in cultivation. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. This species is closely related to G. punctata and G. purpurea. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance. The flowers have the scent of the old tea rose.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division of older plants in March. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Edible Uses : The root is sometimes used in the manufacture of gentian bitters

Medicinal Uses:
This species is one of several that are the source of the medicinal gentian root, the following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_pannonica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+pannonica
http://eol.org/pages/6855040/overview
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/203220/0

Galanthus nivalis

Botanical Name : Galanthus nivalis
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus:     Galanthus
Species: G. nivalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade:     Angiosperms
Clade:     Monocots
Order:     Asparagales

Synonyms:  Fair Maid of February. Bulbous Violet.

Common Name: Snowdrop or Common snowdrop

Habitat :Galanthus nivalis native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to Ukraine. It is native to Albania, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It  is now widely grown in gardens, particularly in northern Europe, and is widely naturalised in woodlands in the regions where it is grown. It is considered naturalised in Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and parts of North America (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Massachusetts, Alabama, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Washington State, New York State, Michigan, Utah, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina).

Although often thought of as a British native wild flower, or to have been brought to the British Isles by the Romans, it is now thought that it was probably introduced much later, perhaps around the early sixteenth century.

Description:
Galanthus nivalis  are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs. It grows to around 7–15 cm tall, flowering between January and April in the northern temperate zone (January–May in the wild). Each bulb generally produces two linear, or very narrowly lanceolate, greyish-green leaves and an erect, leafless scape (flowering stalk), which bears at the top a pair of bract-like spathe valves joined by a papery membrane. From between them emerges a solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped white flower, held on a slender pedicel.
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The flower consists of six tepals, also referred to as segments. The outer three are larger and more convex than the inner ones. The inner flower segments are usually marked on their outer surface with a green, or greenish-yellow, V or U-shaped mark (sometimes described as “bridge-shaped”) over the small “sinus” (notch) at the tip of each tepal. The inner surface has a faint green mark covering all or most of it. Occasionally plants are found with green markings on the outer surface of the outer tepals.

Galanthus nivalis herbs reach their blooming peak between January and April in northern, temperate climates. After that, their flowers mature into fruits which ripen as three-celled capsules enclosing whitish seeds that contain substances appreciated by ants (who are also the ones responsible for the seed distribution).

The six long, pointed anthers open by pores or short slits. The ovary is three-celled, ripening into a three-celled capsule. Each whitish seed has a small, fleshy tail (the elaiosome) containing substances attractive to ants which distribute the seeds. The leaves die back a few weeks after the flowers have faded.

Galanthus nivalis  is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus, Galanthus. Snowdrops are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalised. They should not be confused with snowflakes (Leucojum and Acis.)

Medicinal Uses:
Galanthus nivalis content of galathamine is mostly responsible for its therapeutic action, very much appreciated in the treatment of traumatic injuries of the nervous system. It cannot cure Alzheimer disease, but it can at least prevent it or slow down its evolution. Being a strong inhibitor of cholinesterase, this alkaloid is also part of chemically-produced drugs used in anesthetics, but also in post-surgery treatment of myasthenia, myopathy, or atonia occuring either in the gastro-intestinal tract or in the bladder.

Since the alkaloid spectrum contained in Galanthus nivalis is considerably large, their medicinal effects also vary a lot: some of them are virostatic, or respiratory analeptics, while others are effective tumor-inhibitors. Galanthus nivalis homeopathic derivates are also emmenagogues, meaning that they stimulate the blood flow in the pelvic area, thus increasing the menstrual flow and possibly inducing abortion in early stages of the preganncy.

Lectin (or agglutinin) is currently being studied for its likely action against HIV (human immunodefficiency virus). Other medicinal uses of the plant have reportedly treated symptoms of polyneuropathy, neuritis, myelitis, thrombosis, thromboembolism, and spine injuries

Known Hazards:  This plant is no longer used as such in therapies, due to its relatively high levels of toxicity. Only chemically-extracted substances are used in standard medication, to avoid the occurence of adverse reactions such as digestive tissue irritation and stomach pain. Oral ingestion of parts of Galanthus nivalis reportedly leads to poisoning, manifested through diarrhea, colic, vomiting, and nausea.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/snowdr59.html
http://www.liveandfeel.com/articles/galanthus-nivalis-improves-memory-and-has-many-other-health-benefits-3335
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus_nivalis

Fraxinus ornus

Botanical Name : Fraxinus ornus
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Fraxinus
Species: F. ornus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonym: Flake Manna.

Common Names:Manna, Manna ash or South European flowering ash

Habitat :Fraxinus ornus is  native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Spain and Italy north to Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic, and east through the Balkans, Turkey, and western Syria to Lebanon and Armenia. It grows in mixed woodland, thickets and rocky places, mainly on limestone

Description:
Fraxinus ornus is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–25 m tall with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The bark is dark grey, remaining smooth even on old trees.
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The buds are pale pinkish-brown to grey-brown, with a dense covering of short grey hairs.

The leaves are in opposite pairs, pinnate, 20–30 cm long, with 5-9 leaflets; the leaflets are broad ovoid, 5–10 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with a finely serrated and wavy margin, and short but distinct petiolules 5–15 mm long; the autumn colour is variable, yellow to purplish.

The flowers are produced in dense panicles 10–20 cm long after the new leaves appear in late spring, each flower with four slender creamy white petals 5–6 mm long; they are pollinated by insects.

The fruit is a slender samara 1.5-2.5 cm long, the seed 2 mm broad and the wing 4–5 mm broad, green ripening brown.

Edible Uses:
Manna – a sweetish exudate is obtained from the stems by incision. The quality is better from the upper stems. A mild sweet taste[114], its main use is as a mild and gentle laxative, though it is also used as a sweetener in sugar-free preparations and as an anti-caking agent. The tree trunk must be at least 8cm in diameter before the manna can be harvested. A vertical series of oblique incisions are made in the trunk in the summer once the tree is no longer producing many new leaves. One cut is made every day from July to the end of September. A whitish glutinous liquid exudes from this cut, hardens and is then harvested. Dry and warm weather is essential if a good harvest is to be realised. The tree is harvested for 9 consecutive years, which exhausts the tree. This is then cut down, leaving one shoot to grow back. It takes 4 – 5 years for this shoot to become productive. Average yields of 6 kilos per hectare of top quality manna, plus 80 kilos of assorted manna are achieved.

Medicinal Uses:
Manna has a peculiar odour and a sweetish taste.

It was formerly used in medicine as a gentle laxative, but is now chiefly used as a children’s laxative or to disguise other medicines.

It is a nutritive and a gentle tonic, usually operating mildly, but in some cases produces flatulence and pain.

It is still largely consumed in South America and is official in the United States Pharmacopoeia.

It is generally given dissolved in water or some aromatic infusion, but the best Flake Manna may be administered in substance, in doses of a teaspoonful up to 1 or 2 oz.

Usually it is prescribed with other purgatives, particularly senna, rhubarb, magnesia and the neutral salts, the taste of which it conceals while it adds to the purgative effect.

For infants, a piece about the size of a hazel-nut is dissolved in a little warm water and added to the food. To children, 30 to 60 grams may be given dissolved in warm milk or a mixture prepared with syrup, or syrup of senna and dill water.

Syrups of Manna are prepared with or without other purgatives.

Manna is sometimes used as a pill excipient, especially for calomel.

Other Uses:
Fraxinus ornus is frequently grown as an ornamental tree in Europe north of its native range, grown for its decorative flowers (the species is also sometimes called “Flowering Ash”). Some cultivated specimens are grafted on rootstocks of Fraxinus excelsior, with an often very conspicuous change in the bark at the graft line to the fissured bark of the rootstock species.

Known Hazards  : Contact with the sap has caused skin or systemic allergic reactions in some people.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashmn075.html
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashmn075.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fraxinus+Ornus

Yacon

Botanical Name :Smallanthus sonchifolius
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Smallanthus
Species: S. sonchifolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Polymnia edulis, P. sonchifolia

Common Names:Yacon,aricoma, arboloco, aricona, arikuma, colla, chiriguano, ipio, jacón, jicama, jiquima, jikima, jiquimilla, leafcup, llacon, llacoma, mexican potato, polaco, poire de terre, potato bean, puhe, shicama, taraca, yacón, yacuma, yacumpi  Another name for the yacón is Peruvian ground apple.

Habitat :Yacon is native to the lower Andes regions and cloud forests of South America and can be found in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. It is now widely cultivated for its edible roots throughout Andean South America and has been exported into Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and even the United States as a novel edible root crop.

Yacon plant is  traditionally grown in the Northern and Central Andes from Colombia to Northern Argentina

Description :
Yacon is a perennial herb growing 1.5 to 3 m tall with dark green celery-like leaves. The plant produces both male and female daisy-like yellow to orange flowers that are pollinated by insects. Each plant forms a underground clump of 4 to 20 fleshy large tuberous roots. Each weighs, on average, about 500 g. The skin of the tuber when fresh is a tan to a light yellow in color but quickly turns dark brown to dark purple when exposed to air. Yacon is a member of the sunflower family and while it grows in the warm, temperate valleys of the Andes, it can be found at altitudes up to 3200 meters.
Click to see the pictures…>…(01)....(1).…...(2).....(3)..…(4).…….(5).(6).
Fresh yacon tubers are crisp and juicy with a delicate flavor reminiscent of apple or melon and a surprising sweetness that increases with storage. They are usually eaten raw, (fresh or sun-dried) or steamed, baked, roasted, or juiced into syrup. In the Peruvian Andes where yacon production is flourishing, one can find yacon processed into almost anything in the local markets. . . from pancake syrup, to soft drinks, jam, breakfast cereals, and pudding.

Unlike many other root vegetables domesticated by the Indigenous Peoples of the Andes (ulluco, oca) and mashua, yacón is not photoperiod sensitive, and can produce a commercial yield also in the subtropics.

Cultivation & propagation:
Yacón can easily be grown in home gardens in climates with only gentle frosts. It grows well in southern Australia (including Tasmania) and New Zealand, where the climate is mild and the growing season long. The plant was introduced to Japan in the 1980s, and from there spread into other Asian countries, notably South Korea, China, the Philippines, and is now widely available in markets in these countries. Yacón has also recently been introduced into farmers’ markets and natural food stores in the United States.

Propagation roots with growing points can be planted in a well-dug bed in early spring, near the time of the last expected frost. While aerial parts are damaged by frost, the roots are not harmed unless they freeze solid. Yacón is a vigorous grower much like Jerusalem artichokes. The plants grow best with fertilization.

After the first few frosts the tops will die and the plants are ready for harvest. It is generally best to leave some in the ground for propagating the following spring. Alternatively, the propagating roots can be kept in the refrigerator or buried away from frost until spring. While usable-sized tubers develop fairly early, they taste much sweeter after some frost.

Edible Uses:
The tubers are simply just eaten like a fruit or they are juiced and boiled down to a syrup. The leaves are traditionally prepared as a decoction and taken in dosages of 1 cup two to three times daily.

Current practical uses :
While yacon root is currently being marketed to diabetics and dieters… no blood sugar lowering effects have been published in humans or animals for the tubers (only the leaves). Because it contains a type of sugar that isn’t metabolized (as well as being much lower in calories), it is certainly an appropriate sweetening substitute over regular sugar for diabetics and dieters. Consumers should be aware however, yacon root is not going to help diabetics lower or maintain blood sugar levels as some are trying to market it for (and the tuber actually does contain glucose and fructose).

In local Andean markets today yacon root is considered a fruit and sold with other fruits like pineapple and apples (not in the very large and diverse potato section of the market). The tubers have a wonderful crispy sweet flavor which is enhanced with drying them in sunlight until the peels are slightly wrinkled. They are then peeled and eaten out of hand, chopped into salads, and steamed or fried. The tubers are also juiced and then concentrated into syrups and sweeteners (much like dark corn syrup) or further dried and concentrated to produce solid dark-brown sweet blocks called chancaca. Here in the U.S. several relatively new yacon root syrups are now available in health food stores and natural products markets as a low-calorie alternative to corn syrup or molasses. Try them… they’re great!

Unfortunately, there are also one or two yacon root capsules on the market today which are making claims or pointing to the studies for blood sugar regulation, and/or antimicrobial actions which really only pertain to yacon leaves and not the root/tuber. If one takes yacon root in capsule form, about the only real benefit is as a prebiotic to help gut flora bacteria and possibly increase the natural production of immunostimulating beta-glucans (but it will certainly take much more than a 500 mg capsule or two… remember they eat the tuber by the pound in the Andes, and not by the gram). To aid blood sugar metabolism, look for yacon leaves in capsules or simply dried and cut up leaves sold in packages. There are a only a handful of products to choose from in the U.S. market place as this is a relatively new natural remedy for this country

Chemical Constituents:
The yacon root or tuber is a rich source (up to 67%) of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These compounds helps gives the tuber its sweet flavor however most of these types of sugars are not readily digested or metabolized easily by humans. For this reason, yacon shows much promise as a food for diabetics and as a base for a low calorie sweetener. These oligofructans have been recently classified as “prebiotics.” Since they are not digested in the human gastrointestinal tract they are transported to the colon where they are fermented by a selected species of gut micro-flora (especially Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus) and help to balance gut flora and aid digestion. One laboratory study suggests that the prebiotic effect of yacon tuber extracts during the fermentation process enhanced the natural production of beta-glucans which act as non-specific immunostimulants.

In addition to these sweet compounds, yacon tubers are also rich in free fructose, glucose and sucrose as well as inulin and starch. Both the tuber and the leaves of the plant contain chlorogenic, ferulic and caffeic acids which are known to provide an antioxidant effect. Several sesquiterpene lactones can be found in the leaves of the yacon plants which have evidenced antibacterial and antifungal actions in laboratory tests.

Other chemicals documented in yacon include: y-cadinene, caffeic-acid, 3-caffeoylquinic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, 2,4-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 2,5-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic-acid, enhydrin, ferulic-acid, fluctuanin, gallic-acid, gentisic-acid, inulin, melampolides, oligofructans, beta-pinene, protocatechuic-acid, rosmarinic-acid, sonchifolin, tryptophan, 2,3,5-tricaffeoylaltraric-acid, 2,4,5-tricaffeoylaltraric-acid, and uvedalin

Medicinal Uses:

Hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, liver protector

Main Uses (leaves):
1.for diabetes and high blood sugar
2.as a liver tonic and for liver problems
3.as an antimicrobial for kidney and bladder infections
4.as an antioxidant (especially for the liver)

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, antioxidant, hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (liver tonic), immunostimulant,

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
antidiabetic, stomachic (digesive aid)

The tubers are soothing as well as nourishing to the spleen, stomach, lungs and pancreas, and valued as a strengthening tonic for the whole body, giving energy and vitality. Being low in calories, this is a practical vegetable for dieters and diabetics, and the inulin has proved beneficial in stabilizing blood sugar levels. The tuber can be eaten regularly as a food, or juiced for a refreshing drink. Some diabetics juice the tuber and freeze the juice in small containers, to have it available all through the year. Fructose enhances the digestion of foods, particularly the metabolism of carbohydrates, and has a thermogenetic effect, helping the body to burn off calories that have been stored as fat. Leaves are used fresh or dried as a tea with hypoglycemic properties and are commercially sold as such in Brazil.  Yacon reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis associated with resistance to insulin and dislipemia, and has been shown to be effective in feeding hypercaloric disorders, based fundamentally on carbon hydrates. The experimental data show that the oligofructose inhibits the hepatic lipogenesis and consequently they have a hypotrigliceridemic effect.  Yacon reduces the risk of osteoporosis because it improves the breakdown and absorption of calcium in the body, as well as increasing bone density and bone mass. The dried leaves are used to prepare a medicinal tea. Dried yacon leaves are used in Japan, mixed with common tea leaves. Hypoglycemic activity has been demonstrated in the water extract of dried yacon leaves, feeding rats with induced diabetes in Japan.  Eating oligofructose improves health of intestine because of the bifidus bacteria (beneficial) in the colon are stimulated.

Cautions: The leaves will enhance the effect of insulin and diabetic drugs

Other Uses:
In colonial times yacón consumption was identified with a Catholic religious celebration held at the time of an earlier Inca feast. In the Moche era, it may have been food for a special occasion. Effigies of edible food may have been placed at Moche burials for the nourishment of the dead, as offerings to lords of the other world, or in commemoration of a certain occasion. Moche depicted these yacón in their ceramics.
click to see

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yac%C3%B3n
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail514.php
http://www.rain-tree.com/yacon.htm#.Udw60b7D-eA

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm